Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, on Tuesday, opted out of the race for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress.
Sources say the speaker would in the next days formally affirm his entry into the governorship contest in his native Sokoto State. The APC governorship ticket in the state has been zoned to his senatorial district.
The Speaker made his decision public in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen, in Abuja.
Tambuwal said the decision to suspend his bid was taking after due consultation and consideration of the overall interest of the party.
He equally noted that going ahead with such a bid at this time would alter calculations on the political chess board of the APC.
The Speaker stressed that when he received the Presidential nomination forms, he was convinced that he had what it takes to make a difference.
He said the bid was not to actualise a personal ambition but to address the monumental challenges that have stifled growth, nurtured institutionalised corruption, gross incompetence among others, he said: “I am convinced that with the progressive spirit and teamwork these objectives are attainable under an APC administration.”
“I have carefully considered the concerns expressed by some of our leaders, whom I deeply respect and whose support and counsel I enjoy,to the effect that my entry into the presidential race at this point may necessitate having to rework some equations on the political chessboard of the party.”
“Having consulted widely, taking into consideration the concerns of some elders of the party, I have decided to suspend my participation in the presidential contest for now. I have done so as a sacrifice for the cohesion and unity of the APC. I am suspending my participation in the presidential race for now because I do not have any inordinate ambition to occupy any office.
“I pledge my loyalty to our party, the APC and cooperation with my uncles and senior brothers and colleagues, who are already in the race for the APC presidential ticket: I refer to; General Muhamadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governor Rochas Okorocha and Mr Sam Ndah-Isaiah. There is no doubt that they are all eminently qualified.”